Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, recorded a 17.87 percent increase in overnight stays during the first eight months of 2014 compared to last year, the Thessaloniki Hotels Association said in a recent announcement.
During the January-August 2014 period, hotels in Thessaloniki recorded 1.3 million overnight stays compared to 1.1 million during the same period in 2013.
The association informed that overnight stays of foreign tourists and Greeks were very close in numbers. During the first eight months of the year, the number of recorded nights spent by foreign tourists at Thessaloniki accommodation establishments increased by 21.18 percent to 651,148. Overnight stays by Greeks at hotels numbered 651,199 (14.73 percent increase).
However, hotel prices have remained unchanged in Thessaloniki, with the average room rate at 64.29 euros. This places the Greek city behind the European cities of Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Koln, Salzburg, Glasgow, Antwerp, Birmingham and Budapest.
Thessaloniki also lags in revenue per available room (39.64 euros) compared to Edinburgh (87.3 euros), Koln (65.66 euros), Antwerp (59.33 euros) and Budapest (44.63 euros).
The association said that Thessaloniki needs more promotion abroad in order to attract high-end tourists and therefore enhance both the quality and revenue of tourism.
In regards to Thessaloniki’s most visiting nationalities during January-August 2014, tourists from Cyprus were in the lead with 70.731 overnights, an impressive 46.35 percent increase compared to last year. Visitors from Turkey came in second with a total of 50.656 overnights (18.92 percent increase) and Russian tourists were third in the ranks with 49.582 overnights (11.92 percent drop), a result of their economic crisis and the devaluation of the ruble.